This simple cake makes a delicious alternative to a classic rich fruit Christmas cake. It will keep un-iced in an airtight container for a few days. Add the icing and fresh cranberry topping on the day of serving.
Ready in: 1hr 45mins, plus cooling
- 175g unsalted butter, softened
- 175g golden caster sugar
- 225g self-raising flour
- 2 tsp ground mixed spice
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 3 large eggs
- 75g sweetened dried cranberries
- 50g walnuts, chopped
- 50g hazelnuts, chopped
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- Half of a 400g tub ready-made royal icing
- 2 tsp snowflake sugar sprinkles
- 75g fresh cranberries
- Fresh mint sprigs, to decorate (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 170C, 150C fan, gas mark 3. Grease a 900g loaf tin and line the base and up two long sides of the tin with baking parchment.
- Place the butter, sugar, flour, spice, baking powder and eggs in a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk for 2-3 minutes until thoroughly combined. Fold in the dried cranberries, nuts and orange zest and juice.
- Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the surface. Bake for 1hr-1 hr 15 minutes or until risen and golden and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
- Spread the royal icing over the top of the cake. Scatter over the sugar sprinkles and fresh cranberries, plus the fresh mint sprigs if using. Leave in a cool place until set. Serve sliced.
TIP: Instead of the fresh cranberries you could scatter over more festive-themed sugar sprinkles and add a dusting of edible gold spray for a really sparkly finish.